Mango Wrapped Coconut Macadamia Nut Crusted Tilapia

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fish 1I love me some fresh seafood, I wish I lived on the coast just for this reason.  When I worked on a cruise ship having fresh seafood in every port was not an issue, it was amazing!!!

Myself and my friends would have our favorite spots to go to in each port, and although they all had great fresh seafood, there was one place was my favorite…Cozumel Mexico!

We would go up into town, now I mean up in town past all the tourist spots where the locals eat and shop, to the “Market”.  Now this was not like our kind of markets here in the US, although the market was in a building, there were no doors.
And everything was out in the open; fruits, vegetables, Meats, breads, oh yes I did say ‘Meats”, out in all it’s glory, hanging and flies everywhere.  Yes this was not appealing, but I really didn’t go there for the meat.  Of course the produce was out of this world fresh, oranges and melons that were so sweet it was like eating candy.  Fresh tortillas being made right in front of you, this was really was one the highlights of visiting Cozumel.
Right outside of this market was a courtyard in a “U” shape, and when it was closed it would look like just a bunch of garage doors.  But when open, the garage doors would lift to reveal all these individual kitchens.
All with there own specially dishes, but we only ate at this one kitchen every Friday like clock work.  We’d go early into the market get some fruit, veggies, really whatever appealed to us and what we wanted to cook for lunch.
Yes I said cook, this one Kitchen would let me use the kitchen to cook whatever we bought in the market, it was awesome.
The only thing we would get from them was some of the Freshest Red Snapper and Grouper I ever had, we’d be there when the doors opened and then here comes the fisherman walking up with a cooler.  He had just got off his boat with this fresh fish and we would pick the ones we want and the kitchen would cook it right up. Head, body, tail and all and serve up with white rice.  

red snapper
My boyfriend at the time loved the head, I will not go into detail on what he ate from that, I was happy to let him eat that part. LOL

So I came up with this fish dish for Fish Friday’s in my house!!  Plus it does have that Caribbean flare!

Mango Wrapped Coconut Macadamia Nut Crusted Tilapia

Ingredients

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Coconut, panko breadcrumbs, macadamia nut

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in a skillet add butter, oil, shallots & red pepper

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Cook for about 2 minutes

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add panko breadcrumbs, nuts & coconut flakes

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once combined (above), remove from heat and add brown sugar, set aside to cool

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peel mango

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with peeler, peel long ribbons of mango for wrapping

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I used a whole fillet and cut it in half

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starting at one end take mango ribbons and start wrapping fillets

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wrapped fillets

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add topping to each fillet, you can use as little or as much
(I used the leftovers for a salad topping – recipe to come)

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then bake

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done

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I served it with a Mango Avocado Salad with Balsamic Poppy Seed Dressing
(recipe coming soon)

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Recipe

Mango Wrapped Coconut Macadamia Nut Crusted Tilapia

1 whole tilapia fillet, cut in half 
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup macadamia nuts, chopped
1/2 cup coconut flakes, unsweetened
2 tsp. brown sugar, packed
2 tbsp. butter (you can use all olive oil)
2 tbsp. lime infused olive oil ***see note below
1 large shallot, chopped
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 mango
salt to taste

Add butter, oil, shallots and red pepper flakes to a skillet and cook over med. to med. high heat, once butter has melted cook for 1 – 2 minutes more.
Add breadcrumbs, coconut and nuts, stirring to coat with butter mixture, once all is coated then remove from heat stir in brown sugar and taste for needed salt.  Set aside to cool

Peel mango, then take peeler and run it around the mango, trying to make long ribbons of mango.  If they break that is okay you can piece it together. (the remaining mango, use in salad recipe)
Take ribbons and start at one end of the fish and continue wrapping to other end, place on baking sheet, top with breadcrumb mixture, you can add as much or as little as you want.  Keep leftover crumb mixture for salad topping.

Bake fish at 400 degrees for 10 – 15 minutes, you want topping to be golden brown, my oven I cooked it for 15 minutes and fish was perfect.

You can serve the fish with anything you like, I served mine with a salad, I will post that recipe in the next few days 🙂

***Note – Lime infused olive oil, I got this oil at a specialty store, you do not have to use this oil, you can use plan olive oil, if you want that hint of lime then add the juice of half a lime in the crumb mixture when you add the brown sugar, if you want more lime flavor add the juice of the other half, and you can always add the zest of the lime as well!!
You also do not need to use butter, you can just use 4 tbsp. oil in the recipe.

Hope you enjoy this one and hey tell all your friends about me and my blog…Enjoy!!

Rustic Fruit Tart

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This is my simply, easy and delicious go to dessert, well maybe my family’s cobbler is my first one I’d go to, but this is definitely a close second for sure.
I will make this all year around, with any kind fruit that appeals to me as I walk through the produce dept. or at my local farmers market.  I like using Apples, Pears and Plums mostly since I have at least one or combination of those always in the house.

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You can mix and match any combo you like, add in some blueberries, raspberries, cranberries, even nuts if you like.  I’ve added those huge Red Holiday Grapes (seedless), just cut them in half added them to some apples…delish!!

Now you can make your own pie crust that is great you go to town, but for me this pre-made crust works out perfectly.

This time I had few pears and one lonely apple…but it was delicious and this how I do it.

Ingredients

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I roll the pie crust out on my baking sheet and set aside

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Peeled my fruit (I do not peel plums)

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Cut the fruit

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toss in together in a large mixing bowl

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add flour, brown sugar, cinnamon

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and toss to coat all the fruit

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Pile up high in the center of your crust

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pull up one edge of the crust then continue to go around overlapping crust

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looks like this

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make an egg wash, and brush all over crust

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I sometime will sprinkle a little sugar over the crust, then bake

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Done!!!!

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Recipe

Rustic Fruit Tart

1 pie crust
Fruit (i used) 4 pears and 1 small apple
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 egg
3/4 tsp. granulated sugar (optional)

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees

Roll out pie crust on to baking sheet, I used a siltpat on my baking sheet.
Peel, core or seed fruit, then slice, put slice fruit in a large mixing bowl, add flour, brown sugar and cinnamon and toss to coat all the fruit.  Pour fruit in the middle of your pie crust and pile it high.  

**I like to use a lot of fruit and pile it high, you can use as much or as little as you want, you like more crust then fruit use less fruit to have more crust coverage, to each his own.

Take one edge flip it up on to fruit then continue to go around the fruit overlapping the crust all the way around.
Egg wash – 1 egg & 1 tsp. water, whisk together and brush to coat crust. (you will not use much, so you can keep for breakfast in the morning)

If you want to add a little more crunch and sweetness to your crust, sprinkle 3/4 tsp of sugar over the crust.

Bake for 25 minutes at 425 degrees, then turn oven down to 400 degrees for 15 minutes more.  It should be nice and golden brown, but everyone’s ovens do vary, so do keep an eye on it.  If you feel your crust is browning to quickly you can tent with some foil until fruit is tender.

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Serve this warm or at room temperature, most the time when I make it, very little makes it to room temperature, and it does make a tasty breakfast…and goes great with Coffee!!!!  Enjoy

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This is picture of the Plum tart that I did this past summer.

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Chocolate and Coffee!! …cookies!!

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Chocolate and Coffee what really could be better!!

I really don’t think I could live with out coffee, I just love it, give it to me hot, cold, over ice, in a cup or in can  ———>    pic 1

I just love any kind of coffee drink and will seek out them out even if its International, but I do usually hit my local Starbucks for an Iced Venti 3 splenda Americano.   I also like to spread myself out and give all coffee shops  a fair shot.
I particularly like visiting this one Caribou Coffee shop, these girls that work there are a lot fun.  So when I go there all I ask is for a Medium size with 4 shots, and then tell them to work there magic with whatever they want to make me.
Then once its done, comes the taste test as I try to guess what they made me, well it is really a lot of fun and I’ve never had a bad drink yet.
My last one was  Dark Chocolate syrup with hazelnut, so I thought why not try to make a cookie with the same flavors.

So here is what I came up with and I will call it!!

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Dark Chocolate Coffee Nut Cookies and it went like this…

Ingredients (plus the nuts, which I forgot in the picture)

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add butter and 1/2 cup chips to saucepan and melt

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whisk in espresso powder, set aside

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add flour, salt, baking powder & cocoa, whisk together, set aside

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In a large bowl add both sugars, vanilla and eggs, whisk together

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pour chocolate mixture into sugar/egg mixture, combine

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add flour mixture to wet mixture and combine

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I took a handful of walnuts, chopped them up and it was 3/4 cup (didn’t have any hazelnuts)

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add chips and nuts

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scoop out on baking sheets

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and here you have cookies…Yummy!!!   pic 15

Recipe

Dark Chocolate Coffee Nut Cookies

Ingredients

1 1/2 tbsp. espresso powder or instant coffee (heaping)
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips, divided
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 (1/2 cup) stick butter
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
3/4 cup chopped walnuts

In a small sauce pan add butter and 1/2 cup chocolate chips, heat over medium heat whisking as they melt, once almost melted remove from heat.  Continue whisking until smooth, then add espresso powder mixing to combine and set aside to cool for about 5 minutes.

In a medium mixing bowl add flour, salt, baking powder and cocoa, set aside.
In a larger mixing bowl add sugars, vanilla and eggs, whisking to combine, then add chocolate mixture, whisking to fully combine.  Stir in Flour mixture all at once, stirring and folding until flour is fully incorporated.  Stir in remaining 1 cup of chocolate chips and walnuts.  I used a medium scoop (1 1/2 tbsp.) for these, baked them at 350 degrees for 11 to 13 minutes, you want them to look a little crackled.

Have them with a nice ice cold glass of milk or like me with more COFFEE!!!!    Enjoy!!!!

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Chinese 5 Spice Wings

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So I have a jar of Chinese 5 spice, you say (or maybe not) what is Chinese 5 spice any way…well I’m here to tell you, it is made up of 5 spices, hence the name 🙂

Spices are Star Anise, Cloves, Chinese Cinnamon, Fennel and Sichuan Pepper…lets talk about this Sichuan Pepper…do you know its not a pepper (like black pepper or chili) it’s husks of a tiny fruit from an Ash tree.  Wikipedia it see for you self.

Okay enough chit chat, so I wanted to fix wings for the weekend and I wanted something different and so I opened up my pantry and there is was this Chinese 5 spice, what I know I only used once 🙂
So that is were I started and if you like Chinese 5 spice then you will like these wings…and if you never tried it well then give it a try.

Ingredients:

5wings1 add to baking dish or ziploc  5wings2
5wings3 whisk to combine

5wings4cut up your wings 5wings5

add to the marinade and refrigerator

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When I’m ready to bake, I then add the chicken broth so the marinade does not dry up and burn
5wings8 5wings9 After baking I like them a little crispy, so I bake them again on a sheet pan   5wings11

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Recipe

6 whole chicken wings, which makes 12 wing pieces
1/2 tsp sirircha, now if like things a little more spicy then add more
1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
1/2 tsp. chinese 5 spice
4 cloves garlic
1 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. sesame oil
1/4 cup chicken broth

You can use a baking dish or a ziploc bag to marinate the wings in, I just used a baking dish and turned the wings every hour.  I would have used a bag if I was going to marinate overnight; place in refrigerator.

So in your baking dish or bag add all ingredients except chicken wings, whisk until well combined or shake your bag up, then set aside.

I like buying whole wings, but you can certainly buy them already cut into pieces. (I use the little wing tip to make stock, I’ll save those and anything from the a whole chicken I might not use and freeze them until I get enough to make so stock)

Toss the wings in the marinade  and refrigerate over night or for at least 3-4 hours, if you use a baking dish, just turn them around in the marinade a few times.

Place the wings and marinade in a baking dish, I then add the chicken broth so the marinade does not dry up and burn, heat oven to 400 degrees, and bake for 15 minutes, then flip the wings over and bake 15 more minutes at this point then are done.
But I like them a little crispy so I take them out of the baking dish and put them on a sheet pan place them back in the oven for a few minutes then I will take them back out, roll them around in the marinade again and then place them back on the sheet pan in the oven for a few more minutes.  This is up to you and how you like your wings.  These are also great on the grill, so fire that up when you can too 🙂

So grab a cold one, have some Chinese 5 Spice wings and enjoy!!!

Guinness Mac & Cheese

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Guinness Mac and Cheese

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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1 lb. pasta, cooked and drained
8 oz. extra sharp cheese, shredded
½ cup asiago cheese, shredded
8 oz. fontina cheese. Shredded
1 bag fondue shredded cheese ( Emmentaler & Gruyere)
1 bottle Guinness Draught                                            3 tbsp. butter
3 tbsp. flour                                                                        2 cups whole or 2% milk
2 tsp. onion powder                                                        1/2  tsp. dry mustard
¼ tsp. ground nutmeg                                                    ½ tsp. cayenne pepper
2 cups panko bread crumbs

Heat oven to 350 degrees, spray a 9×3 baking dish with non-stick spray.  You can also use individual ramekins.

Mix all cheese together in a large bowl, remove 3 cups and set aside for later.
In a medium size sauce pan over medium heat, melt butter, then add flour, whisk until smooth, it will get bubbly, keep whisking until just starting to turn light brown. While still whisking add ¾ cup of beer, keep whisking then add milk slowly.  Add onion powder, nutmeg, dried mustard and cayenne, season with salt and black pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes, remove from heat and add cheese 2 hand full at a time. Whisk in all the cheese until all had melted, add to cooked pasta and toss to coat.  Pour half of the pasta mixture in the pan, top with 2 cups of the reserved cheese, then top with rest of pasta.  Top with remaining cheese.  In a small bowl add panko bread crumbs and the rest of the beer toss quickly together and sprinkle on top of the pasta all over.
Bake 30 minutes or until Panko crumbs are lightly browned and cheese is bubbly.